Video Check-In: Meeting a Master Romanian Icon Painter
MIR Tour Manager Michel Behar and his group of travelers on the June departure of Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses checked in with a rare video highlight from Transylvania in Romania: visiting the home of legendary Romanian icon painter and priest, Nicolae Calugar. The walls, tables and rooms of the 82-year-old priest’s cozy home are covered with more than 130 icons he’s painted over the years.
Here’s a taste of what they saw, as Nicolae Calugar explains in Romanian and a local guide translates the meaning and message of these holy icons:
Calugar’s icons are painted on the reverse side of glass, a process known as “iconae pe sticla.” These folk-style icons are first outlined in black ink, then filled in with tempera or oil colors. “Iconae pe sticla” is an artistic tradition handed down from generation to generation, with each Romanian village producing its own unique style.
“In my travels I’ve seen icons in many churches in many countries, so it was fascinating to actually meet an icon painter and priest. Nicolae Caluger’s home was adorned with his own gorgeous icons, so full of color and life. When he ran out of space, he simply placed them on the floor in rows.”
Michel Behar – MIR Tour Manager
One of Calugar’s icons was given to England’s Prince Charles as a gift; another treasured Calugar icon is his interpretation of the famous “Last Judgment” fresco, seen on the walls of Voronet Monastery, one of the painted monasteries of Romania’s Bucovina region.
Other scheduled tours to Central and East Europe include:
- Belarus, Ukraine & Moldova: An In-Depth Study of Three Unsung Countries
- Christmas Traditions in Poland: Brilliant Holidays in Krakow, Warsaw and the Polish Highlands
With over two decades of travel experience in Central and East Europe, MIR can also create a handcrafted custom, private journey focusing on your special interests and timeline in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Belarus and other countries of this region.
(Top photo: More than 130 icons fill the home of Romanian master icon painter Nicolae Calugar. Photo credit: Michel Behar)
PUBLISHED: June 15, 2015